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Flats line recommendation

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Need line recs for the cape cod flats. I’m mostly a two handed guy but I feel that will be a hindrance on calmer flats. Line will be going on a 9wt Helios. Unless an 8wt rod is better suited for that style of fishing I have a Helios 3. Any advice would be appreciated. If anyone needs help with their steelhead game I’d be more than happy to reciprocate. 

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Sierra trading post has a Sci Angler Mastery 8wt floater in olive color for 35 bucks right now. 

I always look there first for fly lines, they have the GPX textured lines pretty regular for around half of retail price. 

 

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1 min ago, Kml said:

Sierra trading post has a Sci Angler Mastery 8wt floater in olive color for 35 bucks right now. 

I always look there first for fly lines, they have the GPX textured lines pretty regular for around half of retail price. 

 

I will check that out thank you 

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Check out Wulff lines. I really like the Bermuda Triangle Taper Lost Tip.

(it is supposed to be for 70 degree and up water temps…but I can confirm it doesn’t behave too badly at all in temps lower than that…I think today’s temps @ Nauset were 58-60-ish)

 

Also, Rio Flats Pro is decent if you can catch it at a closeout/clearance price.

 

Good luck!!!
 

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TL;DR, bring a true-to-weight floater, and a 300gr sink tip.

I think it really, really depends on what kinds of flats you're fishing. Are you wading or fishing from a boat? How deep are the flats? How long will your shots at fish be?

I think the 9wt is great. 8wts are great, too, but I think a 9wt tip does a better job of handling heavier crab flies.

 

I'm far less experienced than some on this forum when it comes to flats fishing. But I've tried to DIY it while wading, and think I've learned some very valuable lessons. Your shots at fish will likely be from less than 40ft. You want the fly to get to the bottom as quickly as possible, and stay on the bottom as you retrieve it, to prevent the fish from looking up at you. (This is something I learned from reading Alan Caolo.) You want a sinking line for that. I suggest you avoid the Titan tapers, as they land too hard. Try the RIO Striper fast sink, or the Cortland Striper sinking line. Wulff might be good, too. 

 

If you're on a shallow flat, your shots will be longer. You also want to be able to pick up and recast quickly. That calls for a floater with a long head, fished with a super long leader to let your fly sink. I suggest something in the SA Saltwater lineup for that. Infinity Salt, Grand Slam, Bonefish Plus, they're all good, and not terribly different from each other. But your casting has to be really good, and you need to turn over a 10-13ft leader.

 

Personally, I use intermediate lines for blind fishing around structure. The intermediate lets me get my fly down if I wait before retrieving, and allows for a direct connection when there's chop on the surface. I find it a really versatile line for covering water in a variety of conditions. Personally, I don't find it useful for sight fishing. It doesn't get down quickly enough, it doesn't stay down on the retrieve, and you can't pick up 40ft of line and recast quickly. It's a dud for sight fishing, unless you can sight fish well before they're in your range, and you can lead them by a lot. Then, the intermediate might be great. You cast, let the fly sink very gradually, and then retrieve the fly mid-column. But you really need a good amount of distance from the fish, at least in my experience. You also need to know how the fish are picking up the fly. Sometimes, fish take crabs on the drop, especially swimming crabs like lady crabs. But fish spook at green crabs that are dropping. I've had fish spook from a green crab fly on the drop, and then turn around and eat it when it reaches the bottom. Know your prey behavior, and adjust your presentation.

 

Also, please consider your leaders. Some folks just don't when it comes to striper fishing. It seems standard practice to loop on some 30lb fluoro at the end of your sinking line and call it a day. I don't ever do that, but I pay even more attention to my leaders when flats fishing. Ideally, you want a hand-built leader with a long butt section (at least 60% of your leader length). I like to use 50lb mono for my leader butt. (If you use the RIO Saltwater Mono, you need to go lighter, and go by diameter, not pound test). You want something that's at least .026 in diameter, because that will help turn over your fly and make your casts accurate. My formula is pretty simple, and starts from the tippet. 2ft of tippet, 1ft of 20lb, 1ft of 30lb, and the rest is butt section. Adjust the butt length based on your overall desired leader length. If you want a longer leader, lengthen the butt, not the tippet.

Edited by iklu
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1 hour ago, iklu said:

TL;DR, bring a true-to-weight floater, and a 300gr sink tip.

I think it really, really depends on what kinds of flats you're fishing. Are you wading or fishing from a boat? How deep are the flats? How long will your shots at fish be?

I think the 9wt is great. 8wts are great, too, but I think a 9wt tip does a better job of handling heavier crab flies.

 

I'm far less experienced than some on this forum when it comes to flats fishing. But I've tried to DIY it while wading, and think I've learned some very valuable lessons. Your shots at fish will likely be from less than 40ft. You want the fly to get to the bottom as quickly as possible, and stay on the bottom as you retrieve it, to prevent the fish from looking up at you. (This is something I learned from reading Alan Caolo.) You want a sinking line for that. I suggest you avoid the Titan tapers, as they land too hard. Try the RIO Striper fast sink, or the Cortland Striper sinking line. Wulff might be good, too. 

 

If you're on a shallow flat, your shots will be longer. You also want to be able to pick up and recast quickly. That calls for a floater with a long head, fished with a super long leader to let your fly sink. I suggest something in the SA Saltwater lineup for that. Infinity Salt, Grand Slam, Bonefish Plus, they're all good, and not terribly different from each other. But your casting has to be really good, and you need to turn over a 10-13ft leader.

 

Personally, I use intermediate lines for blind fishing around structure. The intermediate lets me get my fly down if I wait before retrieving, and allows for a direct connection when there's chop on the surface. I find it a really versatile line for covering water in a variety of conditions. Personally, I don't find it useful for sight fishing. It doesn't get down quickly enough, it doesn't stay down on the retrieve, and you can't pick up 40ft of line and recast quickly. It's a dud for sight fishing, unless you can sight fish well before they're in your range, and you can lead them by a lot. Then, the intermediate might be great. You cast, let the fly sink very gradually, and then retrieve the fly mid-column. But you really need a good amount of distance from the fish, at least in my experience. You also need to know how the fish are picking up the fly. Sometimes, fish take crabs on the drop, especially swimming crabs like lady crabs. But fish spook at green crabs that are dropping. I've had fish spook from a green crab fly on the drop, and then turn around and eat it when it reaches the bottom. Know your prey behavior, and adjust your presentation.

 

Also, please consider your leaders. Some folks just don't when it comes to striper fishing. It seems standard practice to loop on some 30lb fluoro at the end of your sinking line and call it a day. I don't ever do that, but I pay even more attention to my leaders when flats fishing. Ideally, you want a hand-built leader with a long butt section (at least 60% of your leader length). I like to use 50lb mono for my leader butt. (If you use the RIO Saltwater Mono, you need to go lighter, and go by diameter, not pound test). You want something that's at least .026 in diameter, because that will help turn over your fly and make your casts accurate. My formula is pretty simple, and starts from the tippet. 2ft of tippet, 1ft of 20lb, 1ft of 30lb, and the rest is butt section. Adjust the butt length based on your overall desired leader length. If you want a longer leader, lengthen the butt, not the tippet.

Very detailed thank you I appreciate it. 

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On 6/7/2024 at 10:39 AM, thaistick said:

I use Rio flats pro intermediate and floating  switch back and forth depending on depths  deeper sections 4ft plus ft i go with intermediate .

Had my eye on these. Have you used em in cooler temps? 

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